So there is this place in Rancho Cucamonga, CA (yes that is an actual place), where all diets go to die.I would describe it as a middle eastern creperie that specializes in calories. Like, Olympic levels of calories.
The place looks harmless, like some suburban strip mall afterthought, but do not be fooled. The Nutella double chocolate Twix crepe will send you to a joyful early grave.
But that is just for the average “I want extra helpings of the sugar I know” palate. They have other stuff too. For instance, if you want to overdose in calories derived from things that should otherwise be healthy, you can indulge in any one of their fruit cocktails.
This thing took ten days to build, not because they are slow, but because the guy behind the counter just kept stuffing things into that glass.
Then there is this stuff I had never heard about called “ashta”. I would describe it as something in between heavy cream and cottage cheese. Apparently it can be turned into ice cream, like a less-sweet vanilla, and then be piled on top of a crepe then sprinkled with rose water, then dusted with pistachio and then drowned in honey, then devoured by me.
I saw behind the counter they have baklava, and dates, and every combination of phyllo dough stuffed with sweet stuff imaginable and I want all of it.
It is a bad thing that I found this place. Curse you JJ. Curse you.
Wine isn’t just a beverage, or even an industry, it is a country. It is of course those other things too, but since that first day a zillion years ago when someone decided to drink a bottle of spoiled grape juice the whole world has been spending inordinate amounts of time and real estate on grapes.
Half way between San Diego and Riverside is Southern California’s version of Tuscany. Or maybe its another version of Sonoma, or Napa, wherever it is like, it is called Temecula and I went there.
I spent three days at the Carter Estates and didn’t drink a drop of wine. I did however guzzle about a gallon of root beer and ate my weight in cheese. But I was not alone and there were plenty of others to make sure the wine didn’t go to waste.
Any place that has that much cheese is great with me, and the idea that it might be the sort of place where an ascot could be worn made me a fan.
An ascot. In real life.
Wine helps people do all sorts of things.
Like fly in hot air balloons. It was more than a hundred years ago that some French folks broke humans free from Terra firma, and since that time we have developed other things like airplanes and the ability to steer. Yet somehow people still climb into combustible unsteerable baskets and go up into the sky.
There was of course some swirling and sniffing, lots of toasting and nibbling, but most of all, there was an ascot.
My wife calls it “Fakebook.” I call it “intentional online messaging.” It is that thing we do where we present an image online of our most happy and prosperous selves.
For example, I have only beat this “Jared Raynor” in chess twice out of 200 hundred games. But I did in fact beat him and I think it no coincidence that I did so on the same day we met this guy on the street. It is also no coincidence that I have not previously posted screen shots of my losses. No coincidence at all.
I do not eat this beautifully all the time. But sometimes I do. I assume you have no interest in my peanut butter jelly sandwiches. They are neither artisan nor farm-to-table. They are pedestrian sliced bread Jiffy spread things best stuffed in elementary school lunches not posted anywhere on anything.
This is because I am a positive guy and my online life is not my life. My online presentation may be derived from reality but is not, nor has it ever been my, or anyone’s totality.
So I share the things and places that are good and worth knowing. worth doing, Possibly worth replicating. Like Leo’s successful execution of California casual unintentionally blending with my living room decor. That is worth replicating.
But not everything is interesting or good or presentable. I choose mostly the good. I choose this so that when I present the bad, perhaps it might get some notice. Maybe when travel tips and food pics gets crashed by the realities of racism, some of us will take an extra pause to consider.
Maybe we will do more than consider and we will act. We will do something. Act. Exert. Do good.
So I spare you my morning breath and laundry laden bedroom floor. You don’t need to see my kid’s mistakes or my neighbor’s noise. Because so-what. Who cares.
What you should know is that I find double monk strap cap-toe shoes to be incredibly versatile. They dress up and down like a grown up but not an old man. You should know that Bodega Louie is the best pastry in town.
And you should know that racism is real and we should do something about that.
Dining inside a greenhouse situated next to a pool on the balcony of a hotel is one of the most L.A. things I have ever done. Add to that the fact that we ordered a shrimp po’ boy and a curry for brunch and the L.A. meter just explodes.
the Commissary is a Roy Choi project located on the pool deck of the Line hotel in Los Angeles’s Koreatown. It fancies itself as a bridge between different socio-economic strata. I fancy it as delicious.
I would say the po’ boy was run of the mill. The green curry with lemongrass was worth the drive.The company was unmatched, but unless you call me I cannot vouch for your ability to replicate my standards. And by “match my standard” I mean a woman who insists you use the ping pong table on the balcony and when the ball goes flying over the edge she just sets down the paddle and walks away without a word.
A cronut is a doughnut made from croissant dough. It is deep fried, sugared, filled, glazed, and it is heaven in your mouth. The Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York invented the thing and trademarked it in 2013. I do not live in New York, and consequentially, I am in full endorsement of trademark infringement for the greater good.
The cronut, and the bakery that spawned it, are rather high end, unlike my budget. S.K. Donuts is decidedly NOT high end and open 24 hours. Forget which end is in play here and just know that no matter what these things are legally named, you should eat one. Or seven.
I had one topped with Nutella and peanut butter, filled with cream. Topping anything with Nutella feels a little bit like cheating, but to stick with my extralegal theme here, I don’t care. It was great.
The menu is always in flux but the quality is as reliable as the hours. It is worth a drive.
Los Angeles is not a shy city, nor am I a shy guy, but something about this place makes me pause just a little when people ask for good places to eat in town. Especially when my 12 year old daughter asks where we are headed for lunch.
While I may pause, not only do I still go, but I encourage you to do the same.
These folks have been featured everywhere. In Flight Magazine, every style or travel magazine in existence, and every food blogger alive has recommended Eggslut. So trendiness aside, because it is that, they have picked one singular food item, the egg, and just slapped it on everything worth eating, and it works.
It makes sense that if you are 21 and have never been inside a bar before, your first time would be with your Mormon aunt and uncle.
My niece is not a party girl, or a Mormon. She is a pastry chef. A foodie of sorts. So when she came to visit us we took her out for good food. At a bar. I knew what I was doing.
This particular bar’s kitchen is the only stationary location (of which I am aware) to find the fare of the famed Kogi BBQ food truck. Same food, but with seating.I have extolled their kimchi quesadilla before but today i must praise the chilaquiles.
Mole, scrambled eggs, and chicken. Heaven on a fried tortilla.
I must say that ordering the Korean BBQ tacos, quesadilla and the chilaquiles at the same time and trying to eat it yourself is way too much, it is oh so tasty and still surprisingly affordable. If you don’t count the costs of overeating.